And just like that, welcome to the MLB offseason. Congrats to the Los Angeles Dodgers (mostly Clayton Kershaw) for finally bringing the trophy home. Anyway, there is no offseason for a Dynasty manager. You should always be thinking of ways to improve while simultaneously being realistic with yourself.
Dynasty leagues can be arduous, especially when you're in a rebuild. Of course, you always want to compete, but patience is a virtue. The point of this reminder is that the transactions you make should reflect your team's timeline. Don't go out and acquire Clayton Kershaw when you're in the first stage of a rebuild. Conversely don't go trade for Jasson Dominguez if you're a legitimate contender.
Four months ago, I gave you six players to buy and six players to sell in Dynasty and, for the most part, I like to think that went pretty well (with the exceptions of Yu Darvish and DJ LeMahieu). I didn't imagine J.D. Martinez being that bad or Nolan Arenado suffering a shoulder injury, but both stocks have dropped in Dynasty leagues since then.
Additionally, yes, I have six players below to try to acquire, but I would still be looking to add those names I wrote about back in June, specifically Nick Senzel, Clint Frazier, Nate Lowe and Miguel Andujar for dirt cheap. And if you went out and bought Corbin Burnes, you're welcome.
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Here are six of my favorite players to target in trades right now in Dynasty leagues:
HOU Houston • #44 • Age: 23
This is the definition of risk-reward, and he won't come cheap either. Maybe you think I'm crazy to suggest trading for a 23-year old coming off dual knee surgeries, but if you can get him at any suppressed cost, his upside is worth the shot. Remember, at this time last year Alvarez was considered a second-round pick in re-draft following a rookie season that saw him hit 50 home runs between the majors and minors. His combination of plate discipline, pitch recognition and power could make him Nelson Cruz reincarnated for the next 10-15 years. The knees are risky, but his upside is a top-10 hitter in Fantasy.
Zach Plesac SP
CLE Cleveland • #34 • Age: 25
"Frank, do you understand the concept of buy-low, sell-high?" I do. However, I still think there's room for profit when it comes to Zach Plesac. I'd imagine most Fantasy managers aren't sure what to do with Plesac. It's not like he was some highly-touted prospect, and while he was dominant in 2020, it was just eight starts. But what if he is this good and somebody in your league is just trying to flip him for something while they can? Plesac made changes to his pitch mix in 2020, throwing his fastball 13% less than 2019 while using his wipeout slider and changeup more. Also, I'm always willing to bet on Cleveland when it comes to pitcher development. Plesac was the third-best pitcher in Fantasy on a per-start basis this season and is currently SP25 off the board in early ADP. If he is a legitimate top-15 or even top-10 starter moving forward then boom, profit.
Gavin Lux 2B
LAD L.A. Dodgers • #9 • Age: 23
Yes, there's a decent chance that whoever has Gavin Lux in your dynasty league still values him appropriately as a top-75 asset. If that's the case, move on to the player below. If the Lux manager has soured a bit, however, it's time to pounce. The way the Dodgers handle their young prospects is maddening, no doubt. You have to look past that and be reminded of the talent Lux possesses. Back in 2019, Lux hit 26 home runs with a 1.028 OPS in 113 minor-league games. He's also a second baseman, which is a very shallow position. The moment Lux is unleashed and is given every day playing time will be the day it's too late to buy him in Dynasty.
Nick Solak LF
TEX Texas • #15 • Age: 25
I'm not sure what kind of spell Nick Solak has me under, but I can't shake it. His 2020 surface numbers were not impressive -- he hit just two home runs with a .671 OPS. Solak did make subtle improvements, though. Most notably, he lowered his strikeout rate to 18% and improved his fly-ball rate by 6.5%. I believe the power will improve. Solak will not maintain just a 3.4% HR/FB ratio. For perspective, that number was 20.8% in 2019. What was most impressive was his aggressiveness on the base paths. He swiped seven bags in 2020 and ranked in the 91st percentile in sprint speed. It seems sustainable, too. In the two seasons manager Chris Woodward has been there, the Rangers rank first in steals with 180. Solak is a sneaky 20-20 candidate for 2021.
Tarik Skubal SP
DET Detroit • #87 • Age: 24
I like targeting high-end prospects who struggle in their first go in the majors. Of course, you'd love to see these guys excel as soon as they're called up but it doesn't always work out that way. In Tarik Skubal's first eight appearances (seven starts), he pitched to just a 5.63 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP. The whiffs, however, were very enticing. He posted a 12.9% swinging strike rate, which led to a 10.4 K/9. He already has a mid-90s fastball with a great slider. Skubal just needs to continue refining either his changeup or his curveball as a third pitch. For what it's worth, A.J. Hinch is now the manager of the Detroit Tigers as well and we saw Houston Astros pitchers take off with him at the helm. I'm not sure Hinch actually had much to do with that, but maybe he brings in a new pitching coach who will help Skubal's development.
ARI Arizona • #48 • Age: 24
The last time I told you to buy low on a pitcher named Corbin in Dynasty, it was Corbin Burnes. Let's see if we can strike gold twice. Corbin Martin was one of the main pieces the Diamondbacks received in the Zack Greinke deal back in 2019, even knowing he just had Tommy John surgery at the time. Well, Martin will be 19 months removed from Tommy John when spring training rolls around. Of course, there is risk trading for a pitcher coming back from surgery, but my guess is you can acquire him for pretty cheap. Martin was stellar in the minors with a 2.58 ERA and 1.06 WHIP to go along with 210 strikeouts in 192 innings pitched. I'm very interested in buying back in on the 24-year-old.